"I didn't even know what Chikara was... So I show up at the show, and I'm expecting a normal wrestling show... there's like a f#%ing dude in a dinosaur outfit walking around, and there was a stipulaton that someone would be sent back in time... Not that I disliked it or anything, I was just like, what the hell is going on." — Jon Moxley reminiscing about working for CHIKARA.
CHIKARA (also Chikara or Chikara Pro), is a Professional Wrestling promotion based in Philadelphia, PA that chiefly tours the northeastern United States, known for its light tone, sense of humor, and high-flying action. It was established in 2002.It's heavily influenced by not only the American style of pro wrestling, but also Japanese puroresu and Mexican lucha libre, as well as a heavy dose of Superhero comics and Godzilla films. Unlike most wrestling promotions, CHIKARA has a defined season and off-season, and its season is built around 4 annual events: King of Trios (a weekend-long tournament of three-man teams), Aniversario, the Young Lions' Cup (a tournament to crown the new holder of the Young Lions Cup, a title that can only be held by wrestlers 25 years old or younger), and the Torneo Cibernetico (a 16-man lucha libre elimination match that serves as the show's main event). CHIKARA also operates the Wrestle Factory, a wrestling training school; many of CHIKARA's wrestlers are Wrestle Factory graduates.CHIKARA is also notable for being about as family-friendly as wrestling can be: in addition to the wacky over-the-top-and-then-some characters and the comedy bits within matches, CHIKARA and its fans do their best to keep adult language out of the shows (a popular story goes that when a fan tried to start a "Holy shit" chant at a show, he was met with the rest of the crowd chanting "Shut the heck up!"), and there's virtually no kind of sexual content. If WWE is TV-PG, CHIKARA could be TV-Y7.CHIKARA's events can be seen via DVD or MP4 download, the former sold from their website and both available from Smart Mark Video. Additionally, you can pay to watch each show on the Smark Mark Video On Demand website. The promotion also produces a weekly video podcast - "CHIKARA Podcast-A-Go-Go" - that can be viewed on their official YouTube channel.CHIKARA was cross-promoting with Kaiju Big Battel for a time, though nowadays the only remnant of said cross-promotionnote Until Dr. Cube resurfaced as a member of rudo supergroup The Flood, that is. is Louden Noxious (now Gavin Loudspeaker), who serves as an announcer for both companies. CHIKARA recently joined up with the USA counterpart of Japanese promotion Dragon Gate to help promote their arrival in the United States, with several wrestlers appearing on their shows and Leonard F. Chikarason (as well as Mike Quackenbush) doing commentary for the PPV and DVD versions of their shows.Currently their Grand Championship is held by Icarus, who defeated Eddie Kingston at "You Only Live Twice" on May 25th, 2014. The Campeones de Parejas (tag team champions) are Pieces of Hate (Jigsaw and the Shard). The Young Lions Cup X trophy is held by "Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti.Chikara 'closed' in spectacular fashion at the end of their show on June 2nd, 2013. Although there seemed to be various levels of storylines involved, Chikara legitimately did not promote any more shows in 2013.note Indeed, events listed on the website as scheduled after June 2nd weren't even booked before being announced as canceled. A fan-compiled .PDF document, "Is Chikara Really Dead?", is so far the most comprehensive explanation of the events revolving around Chikara's closure. It can be read here.Sometime after Chikara's 'closure', a series of Chikara-related videos, titled Ashes, started being put up. Among other things, these mainly chronicle the Colony's search for Soldier Ant, 3.0's search for Archibald Peck, and Icarus' search for allies to help revive Chikara. These, in extended form and along with yet-to-be-seen footage, were compiled into a full-length feature film, which, according to Mike Quackenbush and along with everything that happened from the closure to National Pro Wrestling Day 2014, is considered to be season 13. In October 2013 Chikara signed an agreement with Neon Alley, the anime streaming service, to release a weekly wrestling program on their Saturday lineup. This deal expired at the end of March 2014.CHIKARA returned on May 25th, 2014, the 12th year anniversary of their very first show, with the Season 14 opener, You Only Live Twice. This was aired on iPPV.
Added Alliterative Appeal: The September 6, 2008 show, centering around the "Lethal Lottery"note A Dusty Rhodes idea from 1991 WCW, where tag teams are put together by random draw, first used for the Starrcade 91 PPV, was titled La Loteria Letal.
All There in the Manual: At Anniversario: Never Compromise, Derek Sabato cuts a promo in the ring about the Vavasseur family, Worldwide Media Development Corporation, and the Titor Conglomerate. These are references to a slowly building angle regarding a massive conspiracy incorporating the owners of the company, time travel, and paranormal artifacts. This was the first time the story had been referenced outside of some mysterious websites and the odd shady character hanging around shows, despite having been building up for at least two years at this point.
For Seasons 13 and 14, Deucalion, The Titan of Titor, the leader of the Flood.note From National Pro Wrestling Day to You Only Live Twice, it originally seemed Jimmy Jacobs was the leader, but instead seems to be The Dragon
Bigger Bad: Chris Hero may have ascended to this after leaving the promotion, considering his involvement in the backstory and formation of the BDK.
Book Ends: The Ashes series proper (after the Prelude) began and ended with someone (Green Ant at the beginning, assailANT at the end) being told "You're a Worker now".
Bowdlerize: Amusingly, the fans do this to themselves and each other. They substitute "holy poop" for the standard "holy shit" chants, and when one guy once tried to start a "holy shit" chant, they shouted him down with "shut the heck up". Even Tommy Dreamer apologized for saying "shit" during a speech at one event.
Brainwashed: Delirious, during his time with the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple and The Bruderschaft. It might count as Brainwashed and Crazy except "And Crazy" is Delirious' default state anyway.
Crossbones, who vanished in early 2010 and was absent for about a year and a half, made his return in a Big Damn Heroes moment to help UltraMantis Black against Sinn Bodhi and The Batiri. He now makes occasional appearances.
As of the final weekend of 2011, Gran Akuma returned from a year's hiatus with Icarus in his crosshairs.
Amasis missed a little under two years with a back injury before returning to the ring in April 2013.
Chikara as a whole.
Call Back: The use of an acoustic cover of the theme to The Greatest American Hero in the Ashes video "Believe" calls back to its almost-use in the earlier video "Fickle", with Icarus' reaction to it in both videos serving to illustrate just how far his crusade has come.note In the versions of both scenes used for the Ashes movie, the GAH theme is replaced with Jonathan Coulton's "So Far So Good".
Cerebus Retcon: Wink Vavasseur's "CHIKARAbermetrics" were initially seen as him merely being a incompetent Pointy-Haired Boss. Then, on twitter, he revealed it was a system devised by his father, Conrad, to isolate and break the spirits of many CHIKARA wrestlers...
Charlie Brown from Outta Town: Chikara loves this trope. From Mike Quackenbush returning from injury as the masked Spyrazul to fool Larry Sweeney, to Ricochet tormenting Chuck Taylor as Helios, and most recently, we had The Mysterious And Handsome Stranger, who was revealed to be Archibald Peck.
Jimmy Olsen as Equinox II is an arguable example, as no one ever made any attempt to disguise who he really was and in fact he started using the Equinox gimmick to mess with the head of Vin Gerard (Equinox I).
The Chessmaster: UltraMantis Black. He wanted the Eye of Tyr, which was in the possession of Kaiju Big Battel's Dr. Cube. So he finds out what Dr. Cube wants (Chris Hero to work for him), convinces Hero to work for Dr. Cube in exchange for the counter to the Chikara Special submission hold, and then breaks Shane Storm's losing streak in exchange for the counter.
Didn't See That Coming: This scheme would eventually lead to the creation of the BDK, and the destruction of Mantis's Order of the Neo-Solar Temple.
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Tim Donst dips into this, including a rare babyface example. He "betrayed" the babyfaces after feigning amnesia, after which he joined The Order of the Neo Solar Temple, who he betrayed after being a mole for the babyfaces. Then he teamed with Hydra, who he betrayed in frustration resulting in a legitimate heel turn, then betrayed Chikara in total by joining the Bruderschaft. AND, during the latter days of THAT stable, he was beginning to show serious Starscream tendencies. AND AGAIN, he's started to sabotage his partner Jakob Hammermeier's career.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: There have been some roster members who just vanished (Like Melvin Snodgrass, BlackJack Marciano, Lance Steel, Retail Dragon, Dr. Cheung and Private Eye, for example). but the most notable examples are probably Mitch Ryder, Lince Dorado, and Tursas. The most recent example is Sara Del Rey, who was signed in early autumn 2012 as a trainer with WWE but didn't get an in-character explanation for the departure.
Continuity Creep: Perhaps the only example of a wrestling promotion featuring this. Compare the first couple years where there are very few storylines (and the ones that do happen pretty much boil down to the standard "wrestler hates other wrestler, they fight" angle) to the promotion in 2009, where the BDK angle is deeply tied in to nearly every major feud in CHIKARA in the last two years somehow. The current angle involving the Titor Conglomerate, Wink Vavasseur, and Archibald Peck's time travel may run even deeper.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Cavalier Jones, member of the Board of Directors for all of two shows in 2004. Bob Saget is implied to have perhaps been this as well, leading to his being replaced as commissioner by Dave Coulier in 2008. Dieter VonSteigerwalt was one too; his decisions were fairly logical and rational... except for when they involved the Bruderschaft in any way, shape, or form.
Current authority figure Wink Vavasseur showed shades of it, though he eventually subverted it by being a "Well Done, Son" Guy to a real corrupt executive.
The Titor Conglomerate, particularly Wink's father Conrad Vavasseur.
Creepy Cool Crosses: Employed by the Bruderschaft des Kreuzes ("Brotherhood of the Cross"), naturally.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Eddie Kingston does this to people a lot. Notable examples include his feuds against Lince Dorado in season seven, Tim Donst in season six, and BLK-OUT vs. The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple at King of Trios '08. In 2010 the all-girl team of Death Haze beat former Campeones De Parejas the Osirian Portal in 5 minutes. (Death Haze later themselves lost in that exact time to the Colony, but the match was intended to go 15+ minutes before Daizee suffered a legit broken nose from a Fire Ant kick and they stopped it early)
Dark Action Girl: Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze. After endlessly feuding with each other, they teamed up (Sara turning heel in the process) and immediately proved to be entirely capable of beating the crap out of the guys.
Dead Baby Comedy: Literally. Read The Batiri's twitter. Apparently their favorite snack is "fetus jerky".
Deliberately Monochrome: CHIKARA's YouTube channel regularly featured a weekly segment called the "Throwdown Lowdown," which were clips of great moves from past shows in full color. The BDK's segment, "The VDK," on the other hand, was shown in black and white.
Diminishing Villain Threat: GEKIDO played with this trope. As soon as Quackenbush returned from injury to break 17's fingers, they went from dangerous invaders to losing most of their matches, and assailANT got reassigned to The Colony. However, after Quack injured 17 and combatANT on consecutive cards, the Shard Took a Level in Badass and went on a massive winning streak for the latter half of 2012 and assailANT eventually started to gel with The Colony and has become successful as well.
Shard and Jigsaw are now a Tag Team called Pieces of Hate. They're also the 2013 Tag World Grand Prix winners.
And recently, 17 and combatANT returned, alongside deviANT, and stormed one of the "Wrestling Is" promotions and destroyed it in one night! They've since attempted to do the same with Wrestling Is Fun and National Pro Wrestling Day 2014, alongside a group mostly comprised of other villains from CHIKARA's past.
deviANT and the Colony Xtreme Force attempted to burn down the Wrestle Factory.
Early-Bird Cameo: Carpenter Ant and Vökoder are a clever play on this trope; both characters appeared in the CHIKARA comic books, so fans thought that when they showed up in the promotion itself in 2009 they were the same characters. They weren't.
Eldritch Abomination: The Batiri aren't actually abominations themselves, but their gimmick seems to include being somehow associated with one.
Evil Costume Switch: Shane Storm's transformation into STIGMA, and pretty much all of the BDK (but especially Lince Dorado).
Evil Power Vacuum: The storyline going into 2012. With Ares, Claudio and Sinn Bodhi gone and the BDK disbanded, the top rudo spot was up for grabs and Tim Donst, Obariyon, Brodie Lee, Ophidian, and Vin Gerard were all in the running for it. However, Donst and Obariyon ended up back in the midcard, Brodie was signed to a WWE developmental deal, Vin was re-released after losing a match against Eddie Kingston, and 17 wasn't quite formidable enough to claim the job. By 2013, Wink Vavasseur had become a Non-Action Big Bad.
And since his return from injury, Green Ant is one of Lex Luger, of all people. Specifically, Luger's "All-American" gimmick. He even got an endorsement from the Total Package himself!
During the fan conclave for King of Trios 2011, the BDK's Jakob Hammermeier dared anyone to try to slam the group's monster Tursas. Green Ant walked out dressed the same way Luger had for the Yokozuna Bodyslam Challenge that was held on the USS Intrepid on July 4, 1993 and even used the same music. Unlike Luger, Green Ant was not successful at the time at slamming Tursas. However, during Night II, Tursas interfered in the Colony (Fire Ant/Soldier Ant/Green Ant) vs. BDK (Delirious/Hammermeier/Tim Donst) match, and Green Ant slammed him and followed by making Hammermeier tap out to the Torture Rack, which was Luger's primary Finishing Move.
Face-Heel Turn: Many times. The most prominent example of the beginning of 2013 is Jigsaw.
Subverted during an angle when it looked like Tim Donst had turned heel and joined the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple, but was just faking it. He did eventually turn heel for real.
Foreign Wrestling Heel: While Chikara has had various heels from foreign nations, the only ones who've really played up their heritage for heeldom have been Claudio Castagnoli and Ares.
Funny Animal: U.S. Ape, MosCOW, Dragon Dragon, CP Munk, Colt CaBunny... the list goes on. Currently represented by the Colony, a duo turned trio turned foursome turned trio of masked wrestlers who represent different types of ants.
Sadly, it later became a pseudo-acronym when none of them could remember what it meant.
Fun with Autocensors: The official forums censor the name of Chris Hero (a wrestler who left the promotion on bad terms) to John Kerry. Fans needing to mention Hero referred to him as "a certain Heroic figure" or as Kassius Ohnonote the name he used while in WWE developmental - or simply by his last name only since 'Hero' isn't censored.
The censoring of "Titor", "Condor", and "Conrad" (all in reference to the Titor Conglomerate shutting down CHIKARA), which has since been abolished.
Gainax Ending: The ending of season 12. Kingston defeats Donst to retain the Grand Championship. Cut to two guys looking for the pieces of the Eye of Tyr in a tunnel. Cut to Wink Vavasseur's Father telling him to stop screwing up.
The ending of Anniversario: Never Compromise. Icarus, fresh off his Heel-Face Turn, is about to win the Grand Championship from Eddie Kingston when Wink Vavasseur and around 20 security officers rush the ring. The security guys drag the wrestlers and referee out, tear down the set, and kick the entire audience out of the building as Wink watches from the stage. The next day, all of CHIKARA's events on their website are marked as "canceled", and none of the typical daily Web content has gone up.
The Giant: Parodied by Hydra...all 150 pounds of him. Mano Metallico and Tursas are more typical versions.
Gone Horribly Wrong: UltraMantis Black uses the Eye of Tyr to give Delirious back his free will and then smashes the Eye. Delirious declares that since UMB stole 2 years of his life, he will subject him to 2 years of Hell.
Harmless Villain: Los Ice Creams. Long-serving Rudos, but so silly no one really takes them seriously.
Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Vökoder, who appeared to be some manner of time-traveling robot detective from the future. Which, really, was a pretty metal idea. The first time he showed up, it turned out to be Tim Donst in disguise. The second time, it was a returning Larry Sweeney.
Heel-Face Turn: Well, it's a wrestling promotion, so obviously quite a few. Perhaps of the most note in the current CHIKARA landscape are UltraMantis Black, Eddie Kingston and Sara Del Rey. And most recently, assailANT.
Subverted by Larry Sweeney, who pretended to feud with the Fabulous Two for half a year for the sole purpose of luring Claudio into a false sense of security before screwing him over. Also subverted by Vin Gerard and STIGMA when they spent a good four months pretending to be on the road to becoming tecnicos and ditching Colin Delaney, but it turns out they were just faking it (probably just for the sake of screwing with people).
Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Jakob Hammermeier is still technically a rudo and aligned with Tim Donst. Doesn't stop fans from feeling bad for him any time he suffers abuse and generally getting behind him however. Jakob's beat Jigsaw and Gran Akuma cleanly. He soon became really only ineffectual when dealing with Donst, and he was eventually able to overcome that as well during Never Compromise.
Jerkass: Chuck Taylor. One of his favorite ways to get heat is to surprise little kids watching at ringside by screaming at them.
Pretty much every Rudo, by extent.
In 2011 Wink Vavasseur was a total dick to Ophidian for no apparent reason.
Jerkass Has a Point: Mike Quackenbush on why he tried to end the career of 17. 17 was injuring people remorselessly, with the worst example being Tianlong at Hot Off the Griddle on April 28, 2012, as 17 not only squashed him in 1:05 but gave him a career-ending injury in what would sadly turn out to be his only match, and took about five years off Quackenbush's career by breaking his wrist. General consensus was that 17 did indeed deserve it.
On the other hand, general opinion on Quackenbush deliberately injuring 17's GEKIDO ally combatANT was more along the lines of "Going too far, dude."
Kayfabe: This is pro wrestling, so it goes without saying that there'd be some of this. But Mike Quackenbush is reportedly really strict about his talent never breaking kayfabe, even by pro wrestling standards.
Quack has admitted to making the Chikara roster sign non-disclosure agreements about the details of Chikara's closure.
Lampshade Hanging/Medium Awareness: By the crowd, of all possible people, after the match between The Future Is Now (Jigsaw/Helios/Jimmy "Equinox" Olsen) and The UnStable (Colin Delaney/STIGMA/Vin Gerard) at Through Savage Progress Cuts the Jungle Line, September 19, 2010. TFIN had won by DQ after Gerard hit Equinox with a low blow. Gerard did it again and beat him down until Helios made the save, with Gerard and STIGMA heading to the back. As Colin and Equinox were down on the mat, the crowd chanted "Awkward silence! Awkward silence!"
Large Ham: There a few heels who fit here, including but not limited to UltraMantis Black, Icarus, and especially the Fabulous Three.
Archibald Peck may be the living embodiment of this trope.
Before Peck, no one was hammier than Larry Sweeney, who was the leader of the Fabulous Three.
Sugar Dunkerton can be hammy at times as well.
Legion of Doom: The Flood, an alliance of GEKIDO, Dr. Cube's Posse, Sinn Bodhi's Odditorium, BDK, Sidney Bakabella's Wrecking Crew, The Colony: Xtreme Force (A unit of Condor operatives) and Jimmy Jacobs alongside two mysterious Titor executives certainly gives off this vibe.
If the Airplane is Snowed in, Put Your Bloody Skis on and Get Going!
Retribution Rumble of Revenge and Rumble to Remember
Beware of Barely Badd Blasts and/or Blood Brawls on the Beach
The International Invasion of the International Invaders
Later led to Son of... and Return of the Son of...
Laying in the Gutter, Looking at the Stars
Masked Luchador: LOTS. From the very first graduates of the Chikara Wrestle Factory, luchadores that come in from elsewhere, to the more recent graduates like Ophidian, Amasis and Frightmare. Since the promotion roots itself in lucha libre action, it's pretty much expected.
The Mole: An entire storyline revolved around one of the Tecnicos having gone mole for the Rudos and passing the counter to Mike Quackenbush's feared finisher (the CHIKARA Special) to Chris Hero via UltraMantis Black. The Tecnicos had Tim Donst do a fake Face-Heel Turn and join up with the Rudos as a mole and find out who the traitor was. Turns out the traitor was Shane Storm, who later became STIGMA.
Neatly followed up by Pinkie Sanchez and Tim Donst (again) through 2009 as they took on the roles of Carpenter Ant and Vökoder to infiltrate the Colony (and the tecnicos) and the Order of the Neo Solar Temple (and the rudos) respectively. They revealed themselves at the Wham Episode detailed below.
Mood Whiplash: Chikara had their Tag Wars 2008 show hosted by German promotion WXW. WXW is known for its rowdy fanbase. Commentators had to continuously apologize for the obscene chants (for example, "You fat fuck" directed at STIGMA) and wild behavior of the fans. At the same time, the WXW fans were totally into the Chikara tecnico teams like The Colony.
Claudio Castagnoli's 100-revolution Giant Swing on Grizzly Redwood, at "King of Trios 2009."
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: UltraMantis Black smashed the Eye of Tyr and gave Delirious his sanity back. Now Delirious is involved in some sort of End of the World conspiracy with Ophidian and the Batiri.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Wink Vavasseur's CHIKARAbermetrics shuffling assailANT (later revealed by Wink to have been seen as the "weak link" of GEKIDO) into the Colony and triggering both a Heel Realization and a gradual Rudo Tecnico Turn. Since then, he's prevented deviANT from burning down the Wrestle Factory and has been anointed the new Worker Ant.
Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Ice cream clowns, ants, women from outer space, characters from Egyptian mythology, time-traveling marching band leaders...
No Fourth Wall: The Titor Conglomerate angle has played out on the official Chikara101 forums. There was an in-character moderator, Anton Frady aka wmdchikara, who would delete any posts critical of Wink Vavasseur or speculating on anything involving Titor Conglomerate and Condor Security. The autocensor also blocked the words 'Titor', 'Condor' and 'Conrad'.
Pinkie Sanchez, the dancing, pink-clad comedy character, posed as Carpenter Ant for the second half of season eight, winning the Torneo Cibernetico while under the hood, and joined the BDK in the season eight finale.
Also Team FIST at the start of the same season when they ditched their comedy leanings and put Worker Ant on the shelf for good.
Wink Vavasseur, despite being stupid and incompetent, counts as this due to his connections to Titor Conglomerate and Condor Security.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: Current Director of Fun Wink Vavasseur shows shades of this, though, whether it's due to malice or stupidity can change at any given time.
Only Sane Man: Crossbones was this during the UltraMantis Black/Crossbones/Delirious configuration of Order of the Neo-Solar Temple.
Pinkie Sanchez tried to invoke this regarding the return of Vökoder, when no one else in the BDK believed him. Of course, he was right.
Power Stable: The Kings of Wrestling, who filled this role from 2005 to the end of 2007. Despite being powerful and a stable, The Brüderschaft falls outside the description of Power Stable.
Pride: After UltraMantis Black obtained the Eye of Tyr (see above under The Chessmaster), he refused to listen to the part where the Eye brought misfortune on its user unless he gave it away after using it, because he believed he was smarter than the Eye's curse. Then the BDK destroyed his Order of the Neo-Solar Temple.
Put on a Bus: Chikara often tries to provide storyline reasons to remove wrestlers from the roster.
Mr. ZERO, Jolly Roger, and Worker Ant I were all written out via excessive injuries suffered at the hands of Team FIST.
Hydra, via losing a "Loser Leaves CHIKARA" Match vs. Tim Donst.
Crossbones at the hands of Delirious via kayfabe broken collarbone.
Gran Akuma getting kicked out of FIST by Icarus and Chuck Taylor.
Amasis, who was legitimately injured in a car crash in April 2011, though he wasn't put on a bus properly until the end of the season, when Ophidian turned on him during his retirement speech).
Daizee Haze, who was suffering from an unspecified legitimate health issue, was kayfabe injured off a chokeslam from Claudio Castagnoli.
And then Claudio left for WWE a month later, with the explanation being that he was too embarrassed by losing to Icarus to stick around.
As of August 2012, 17 and combatANT were both deliberately injured by Quackenbush.
Soldier Ant, Johnny Gargano and Sugar Dunkerton all ragequit out of disgust with Wink Vavasseur's management. Soldier over being forced to team with the Colony: Xtreme Force, Gargano over having Sugar F.I.S.T., and then Sugar after F.I.S.T. dissolved.
Psycho Rangers: GEKIDO. They were invaders who appeared to be dark mirrors of popular CHIKARA wrestlers The Colony (combatANT, assailANT, & deviANT), Jigsaw (The Shard), and Mike Quackenbush (17).
Real Life Writes the Plot: When Claudio signed with WWE, CHIKARA had to explain his departure somehow. So the end of his last match in CHIKARA (a losing effort against Icarus) was shown on the Podcast-A-Go-Go, followed by this news from Gavin Loudspeaker:
Gavin: In fact, Claudio was so upset over this loss, he packed his bags, went down to World Wrestling Entertainment, and changed his name to "Antonio Cesaro". Who figured?
Ring Oldies: Parodied with the Senior Assault Team; Lester "Darkness" Crabtree and Melvin Snodgrass. Snodgrass vanished off the face of the Earth by the end of 2003. Crabtree showed up once in a blue moon afterward, until he met his end at the hands of GEKIDO. Both are old and slow (and funny).
Played straight with Johnny Saint and Robbie Ellis, both of whom make occasional appearances.
Also, Mr. Zero's Newspaper Lock, where he has his opponent in a camel clutch-like position while reading a newspaper.
A team called Incoherence regularly getting promo time.
Rule of Three: In order for a team to challenge for the Campeonatos de Parejas, the team has to have three points via winning three consecutive matches.
Screams Like a Little Girl: Chuck Taylor does not like to be chopped. UltraMantis Black is known to scream like a girl when chopped, torqued in an armbar, or confronted by ominous, menacing figures clad in white. (Although that last was marred by his voice cracking in mid-scream.) Amasis is an unintentional example, as his voice frequently cracks when he's trying to sell normally. Icarus and Los Ice Creams are also offenders, though it's Played for Laughs with those three.
Shout-Out: The DVD covers are all homages to famous comic book covers, and many of the show names are lifted from song titles from various bands (including Talking Heads and Ben Folds Five). Similarly, Through Savage Progress Cuts the Jungle Line is from Joni Mitchell's "The Jungle Line."
Does the fact that the entire promotion is basically a live action version of Kinnikuman count?
The team finisher for The Colony is "Ants Go Marching", which - in addition to using "Ants Marching" as their theme - is a Shout-Out to the Dave Matthews Band.
Archibald Peck's animated portrait on the roster page is nearly a dead ringer for Popsicle Pete.
Another example involving Archibald Peck. Archie used to be in a relationship with Veronica. Sound familiar?
All of the Cibernetico shows have names derived from Batman (e.g., Cibernetico and Robin.)
The names of the 2013 shows from All the Agents and Superhuman Crew, itself a Shout-Out to Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row," through The Ghost of You Clings are all taken from lines in Watchmen, with All You See Is Mine through All Things Must Pass being named for George Harrison lyrics.
Supervillains: The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple. Especially their leader, UltraMantis Black.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Green Ant, for Worker Ant, in a very successful iteration of this trope as he both fills Worker's role in The Colony (as the one who speaks fluent English and the one who tends to play face in peril for the group) and has developed his own distinct persona.
Originally thought justified, as he almost became the second Worker Ant by receiving the mask and gear of the first. Eventually subverted, as he passed the name, mask, and gear on to assailANT.
Green Ant: "You're no assailANT, you're a Worker now."
Take That: CP Munk was a Take That against CM Punk, born after Punk canceled on one of their shows at the last minute. Punk didn't take it very well, which inspired CP Munk to become an occasionally recurring character, as well as the creation of Colt CaBunny (based off Punk's tag partner Colt Cabana), and later Ace Panda (based off Ace Steel; the Panda portion of this character came from WWE losing the letter F to the World Wildlife Fund in a lawsuit, leading to jokes that WWE "lost to the Pandas"). He also used a chipmunked version of AFI's "Miseria Cantare- The Beginning" as entrance music.
Along similar lines, Icarus wore a pink shirt with the words "Best In The World" on it during the Team FIST (Icarus/Chuck Taylor/Johnny Gargano) vs. Team Osaka Pro (Ebessan, Kikutaro and Takoyakida) match on Night 1 of King of Trios, September 14, 2012. CHIKARA has even parodied that, selling a T-shirt that read "Worst In The World".
One of Pinkie Sanchez's blog updates was a fairly tongue-in-cheek Take That aimed at the portion of CHIKARA's fanbase that jumped to conclusions regarding the BDK angle when he writes "And the geeks out there figured I was a comic book character from the future. Great Scott - someone needs a reality check!"
Terrible Trio: There have been many Rudo trios, but the original was the Night Shift in Blind Rage, Hallowicked and Ichabod Slayne (better known as Icarus).
The most well-known example in the promotion is F.I.S.T.: Icarus, Chuck Taylor, and Gran Akuma (later replaced by Johnny Gargano). They've even been referred to as "CHIKARA's Most Dangerous Trio".
There Can Be Only One: The annual Torneo Cibernetico match. The match starts as an elimination match between two eight-man teams; if a whole team is eliminated and the other team has more than one competitor remaining, those remaining competitors continue the match under the same elimination rules (and, if required, tag rules) until only one wrestler is left to stand tall.
Also formerly Lance Steel, Time Displaced Noble Knight (and his tag team partner... Lance Steel, Time Displaced Noble Knight).
Carpenter Ant was hinted at being this, but it was ultimately a red herring.
Archibald Peck does a lot of it. First, he was hit by Eddie Kingston's "Backfist to the Future" and actually went to the future. He brought back a Chikara Almanac, which is how he knew Colt Cabana would answer his open challenge at King of Trios 2011. Later, Peck's attorney "The Barrister" RD Evans used time travel to get him reinstated in Chikara at the end of Season 11.note Peck and Evans are the same guy.
Archie gets it so much that it even created something of a Stable Time Loop featuring two separate versions of him.
And he later deliberately invoked it by showing up to National Pro Wrestling Day 2014 in a DeLorean with 3.0 (who had also been affected by time travel by traveling to Parts Unknown to find him) in tow.
Too Dumb to Live: Jakob Hammermeier thought it would be a good idea to accuse Sara Del Rey of being "the Queen of the Lockerroom". She didn't appreciate it, and beat the hell out of him.
Took a Level in Dumbass: Wink Vavasseur has been getting dumber ever since showing up. Compare sanctioning the Grand Championship in early 2011 to breaking up the Colony and the Swarm with his "Chikarabermetrics" system in 2012.
Subverted in regards to CHIKARAbermetrics, as according to Wink, its true purpose was to sow discord within the CHIKARA teams it affected.
The Unintelligible: Delirious, most of the time. Also Hallowicked and Frightmare. (There's a reason why their team is called "Incoherence.") Finally, Hydra mostly communicated in a series of grunts and growls.
Fire Ant also usually only communicates with growling and yelling noises, but when the situation really calls for it he is capable of saying a few words. Soldier Ant, conversely, only speaks in military jargon ("SIR YES SIR!").
Unnecessary Roughness: They have a rule about it, called "castigo excesivo", or "excessive punishment." At A World Of Comforting Illusions, Incoherence (Hallowicked and Frightmare) d. the BDK team of Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze by DQ for this reason after Sara gave Frightmare four consecutive piledrivers without going for a cover.
Archibald Peck has been disqualified for this a number of times against Mr. Touchdown.
Villainous Breakdown: Eddie Kingston flirted with this during his feud with Lince Dorado. Not because he couldn't beat him, because King never suffered a real singles loss to Lince, but because no matter how badly he beat him down, Lince kept getting back up and asking for another rematch.
The Voiceless: Tursas. He's supposed to be some Finnish viking/monster thing, but it seems likely the wrestler has no knowledge of Finnish, so they use this trope. STIGMA spoke a whole lot less after turning heel, though he still spoke from time to time.
Tursas DID yell "Fight me!" during his match with Eddie Kingston at CHIKARA The Mint Condition, February 27, 2010, though.
Waif-Fu: Averted by Daizee Haze, who, despite being the size of your average Waif Fu practitioner, prefers punching, kicking and front face locks.
Wham Episode: The end of Three-Fisted Tales, November 22, 2009, which was the Grand Finale for Season 8 (the last of CHIKARA's 2009 shows) - BDK demands the Eye of Tyr back from UltraMantis Black, and when he refuses, the larger BDK guy unmasks as Tursas and the regular-sized one unmasks as Claudio's ex-Swiss Money Holding partner Ares, who had been gone from the promotion since 2006. Mike Quackenbush looks over at Claudio as if to say, "What have you got to do with this?" Claudio uppercuts Mike Quackenbush, Carpenter Ant attacks the Colony, Vökoder attacks UltraMantis, Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze just attack whoever's there. After this the 7 pose in the ring, and Vökoder and Carpenter Ant unmask to reveal they were, respectively, Tim Donst and Pinkie Sanchez.
What Happened to the Mouse?: 17's seventeen forgotten finishing holds. He only got about a quarter of the way through them before Quack dropped him on his head 4 times to remove him from Chikara.
Winged Humanoid: Powa Rangeru's costume at least has rounded transparent wings.
Worked Shoot: Vin Gerard being released from Chikara seemed to be one. One day before his release in October 2011 he won clean over Eddie Kingston via submission. He then posted youtube videos and made appearances at a few other promotions talking about Chikara, and the angle looked like a worked shoot. Come February 2012 he gets readded to the Chikara roster... loses clean to Kingston, is immediately removed from the roster and vanishes into thin air.
The current Titor Conglomerate angle has some strong worked shoot elements to it. Especially on the May 31, 2013 show, when Condor Security goons tore down the set and ring and chased the fans out of the building. Shortly after that, various Titor Conglomerate people have posted on various fora that they're liquidating the Chikara assets.
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Invoked repeatedly by Daizee Haze, who isn't above cowering and screaming when it looks like her male opponent is about to turn the tables on her. Of course, the second the guys hesitate she cheap shots them.
Wrestling Doesn't Pay: Retail Dragon, masked Wal-Mart clerk extraordinaire. Also formerly Shane Storm (now STIGMA), Unionized Traffic Regulator and Mr. ZERO, wrestling office worker. Taken to the logical extension, Vin Gerard is rumored to be homeless (yet he has an Internet connection).
The Throwbacks: Sugar Dunkerton (wrestling basketball player), Dasher Hatfield (wrestling baseball player) and "Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti (wrestling football player.)